An angel…in work boots?
Squinting against the bright morning sun, it was his boots I first noticed as he approached; sturdy, no-nonsense, thick-soled, work boots they were. As I raised my gaze, I took in the supportive cane and the small dog he had in tow. In a fenced parking lot adjacent to a commercial district, I was somewhat surprised to see someone walking their dog. “How are you this fine day?” was his affable greeting, accompanied by a friendly tail wag from his four-footed companion. I allowed that on such a fine, spring day it would be hard to be anything but good. And that’s when the conversation took an unexpected turn. “Any day that you wake up is a good day, and the day that you don’t wake up, you no longer have anything to worry about.”. As I mumbled assent, he offered further wisdom. “You can’t control what happens to you in this life,” he averred, “the only thing you can control is your reaction to what happens.” And then as quickly as he appeared, he was gone, leaving me to wonder.
I wondered at the incongruity of it all. I wondered at the words he spoke. And most of all I wondered at how he would know I was indeed wrestling with more than one such dilemma – pandemic-induced and otherwise. Then the words of Scripture in Hebrews 13:1-2 came to mind, where we are reminded to keep on loving one another and to ‘entertain strangers’ because in doing so we just might find ourselves in the presence of angels. It’s just that I didn’t expect the work boots, or for that matter, the dog.